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Spoil your mum with these lovingly-made lemony delights

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

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Classic Lemon Choux Craquelin

Classic Lemon Choux Craquelin

Roaster Red Pesto Chicken

Roaster Red Pesto Chicken

Ready-made lemon curd

Ready-made lemon curd

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Classic Lemon Choux Craquelin

TODAY I’d like to wish all the wonderful mums a very Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you all get the opportunity to kick back and relax with a nice treat like breakfast in bed, a scrumptious lunch or dinner. If you are looking for some Mother’s Day recipe inspiration, here are two of my favourites. First up is my roasted red pesto chicken. Simply pop it in the oven, then head out for a walk and return to mouthwatering aromas — dinner is ready. The chicken for this recipe is prepared spatchcock, which means cut in half from the back bone of the chicken. You can also use chicken legs or chicken breast, just remember to adapt the cooking time of the recipe as the breast will cook faster than the legs. The delicious flavour of the red pesto will enhance the flavour of the chicken. While the tomatoes and stock ensure the chicken stays moist. To impress mum (or to treat yourself), my classic lemon choux is perfect. You can prepare the choux buns the day before, but only fill them up to an hour before enjoying to ensure they are still crunchy. The lemon and mascarpone filling is so simple. Yum. Happy Mother’s Day, Kevin

CLASSIC LEMON CHOUX CRAQUELIN

Ingredients (serves 6):
■ For the craquelin
■ 55g brown sugar
■ 70g butter
■ 70g plain flour
■ For the choux pastry
■ 250ml milk
■ 100g butter, diced
■ 5g caster sugar
■ 150g strong flour
■ 4 eggs
For the filling and decoration
■ 200g icing sugar
■ 1-2 tbsp water
■ 2 drops yellow food colouring
■ 400g lemon curd
■ 200g mascarpone cheese
■ 2 tbsp confit lemon zest, optional

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Prepare the craquelin in a thin biscuit layer that can be added over choux pastry before baking. Place the softened butter into a bowl, add the brown sugar and flour, and combine to create a dough.
3. Roll out the dough thinly (2-3mm thick) between two sheets of parchment paper. Keep in the freezer until required.
4. For the choux, combine the milk, caster sugar, and diced butter in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, then immediately stir in the flour all at once. Stir quickly with a spatula or wooden spoon until all the flour is combined.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents into a bowl, then beat the eggs one by one with the dough, mixing until smooth.
6. Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag. Pipe a walnut-sized amount of choux on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cut out discs of craquelin to the size of the choux and place onto each portion.
7. Bake the choux for 20-30 minutes until coloured and cooked in the middle. Remove from the oven, pierce a small hole in the base of each pastry to allow excess steam escape and the outer shell of the choux to stay dry. Set aside to cool.
8. Once cooled, prepare the icing mixture. In a bowl, combine the icing sugar with enough food colouring and water to create a thick paste. Once combined, dip the top of the choux in the icing and set aside to dry and create a light crust.
9. Combine the lemon curd and mascarpone in a bowl and fill the choux either using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle or by slicing the choux in half.
10. Decorate the choux with the confit lemon zest, if desired, and enjoy.

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Roaster Red Pesto Chicken

Roaster Red Pesto Chicken

Roaster Red Pesto Chicken

ROASTED RED PESTO CHICKEN

Ingredients (serves 4):
■ 1 chicken, spatchcocked
■ 3 tbsp red pesto
■ 3 tsp Italian dried herbs
■ 3 tbsp olive oil
■ 4 red onions, quartered
■ 5 garlic cloves, crushed
■ 700ml chicken stock
■ 2 x 400g tin tomatoes
■ 150g couscous, or other grain
■ 1 lemon, juice and zest
■ 4 tbsp fresh basil, to serve
■ Salt and pepper


Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
2. In a bowl, combine the red pesto, herbs and olive oil with salt and pepper. Rub the chicken all over with the mixture. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.
3. Place the red onions and garlic cloves in an oven-proof dish, add the coated chicken and pour over the chicken stock and tinned tomatoes.
4. Loosely cover the oven dish with baking paper and foil, or a lid, and place in the oven for 45 -70 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, or until the legs are almost falling off the bone.
5. At least 10 minutes before serving, remove the chicken from the oven. Add the couscous around the chicken and stir into the tomato mixture.
6. Cover and return to the oven for five minutes — or keep on the stovetop for 10 minutes to let the couscous absorb the flavoured cooking juices.
7. Sprinkle with lemon juice and zest and serve immediately with fresh basil.

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Ready-made lemon curd

Ready-made lemon curd

Ready-made lemon curd

TOP TIP: CURD THIS BE THE ANSWER TO YOUR LEMON PRAYERS?

READY-MADE lemon curd can be hit or miss depending on the use of thickeners and palm oil.
Today, I am using a lemon curd from a local producer called Folláin made with butter, which is the traditional way for preparing lemon curd. The company was created a few decades ago in West Cork and grew from making jams and chutneys.
If you’re not a fan of baking, this lemon curd, available in supermarkets and from follain.ie, is perfect.

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